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Teaching about Sustainability: Raising Consciousness and Taking Action

Teaching about Sustainability: Raising Consciousness and Taking Action
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Author(s): Richard Penaskovic (Auburn University, USA), Dennis R. DeVries (Auburn University, USA) and Nanette E. Chadwick (Auburn University, USA)
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 15
Source title: Handbook of Research on Pedagogical Innovations for Sustainable Development
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Ken D. Thomas (Auburn University, USA) and Helen E. Muga (University of Mount Union, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5856-1.ch018


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This chapter offers concrete recommendations for teaching a capstone course in sustainability to upper level undergraduates minoring in sustainability studies. Given the multifaceted nature of sustainability, the authors use a strong interdisciplinary framework. Because the two instructors are senior faculty from a scientific/technical field and a liberal arts perspective; the course is overseen by the university's academic sustainability program director, adding further breadth of input into student projects. This course comprises three distinct but interconnected components: (1) a theoretical element, i.e., reading and discussion that raises students' consciousness about advanced issues in sustainability and encourages critical thinking; (2) the use of cooperative learning teams in which students choose to solve a practical, real-world problem dealing with sustainability that forces them to be active learners; and (3) ten pedagogical strategies that are effective in motivating students to put forth their best efforts in working on their team projects dealing with sustainability.

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